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States launch initiatives to protect oceans

LIHU‘E — Today is World Oceans Day, and Surfrider Foundation Kaua‘i Chapter is celebrating by hosting ocean-friendly activities this week.

Surfrider’s Barbara Weidner said SFKC is thrilled to invite the public to their events.

“Surfrider loves World Oceans Day because it’s inspiring action to protect the ocean and sustainably use marine resources,” Weidner said. “Protecting the ocean is Surfriders’ mission.”

From 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. today, the Kauai Society of Artists gallery at Kukui Grove Center in Lihu‘e will have youth ocean education, activities and games while parents may check out the marine debris artwork.

On Wednesday from 3:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m., SFKC’s Net Patrol is coordinating a coastal cleanup at Nukoli‘i just south of Kaua‘i Beach Resort. Tools and gloves will be provided.

SFKC encourages the community to do their own solo beach cleanups.

On Monday, state legislators from 18 states formed the Coastal Working Group. This group will allow state legislators to share ocean-climate-policy ideas, strategies and lessons learned.

In celebration of this launch, legislators from six states highlighted their commitment to ocean-based solutions for climate action: Hawai‘i, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Washington.

Legislators from the following states are participating in the Coastal Working Group: Alaska, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawai‘i, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Virginia and Washington.

While the ocean has seen many consequences from climate change, the ocean also holds powerful solutions — from coastal habitats that protect coastlines and store carbon to untapped renewable energy with immense potential. Ocean-based solutions are critical for states and the nation to meet climate goals and create sustainable economies.

“Reefs are often referred to as the rainforests of the oceans, providing carbon sinks and banks of biodiversity,” said state Rep. Nicole Lowen. “It is our responsibility, or as we say in Hawai‘i, our kuleana, to be the protectors of this resource, not just for residents here in Hawai‘i but for the entire planet.”

See what states are doing to help oceans at youtube.com/watch?v=l6kpn7gA1Do.

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Stephanie Shinno, education and business reporter, can be reached at 245-0424 or sshinno@thegardenisland.com.
Source: The Garden Island

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